By Danny Cox

If the Carolina Panthers are able to defeat the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the NFL playoffs, it will be a first for so many on the team. Actually, it will be the first playoff victory as a Carolina Panther for 52 of the 53 players on the active roster.

Linebacker Thomas Davis is the only player that knows what it is like to notch a playoff victory as a member of the Carolina Panthers. That win came back in 2005 when the Panthers got to the NFC Championship before losing to the Seattle Seahawks.

Davis doesn’t want it to be that way.

“And we’ve got to change that,” Davis said on Tuesday as he looked ahead to Saturday’s NFC wild-card playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium. “It’s not going to change by talking about it. We’ve got to go out and play like it.’’ 

After that playoff appearance, the Panthers didn’t get back to the playoffs again and then took another five year break after that appearance.

The Carolina Panthers are heading into the Wild Card game against the Arizona Cardinals as the favorites. Davis is not going to just take it and act as if they’re definitely going to win.

Yes, the Cardinals are in quarterback purgatory right now with starter Carson Palmer out and a chance that backup Drew Stanton won’t play either. Still, the Panthers can’t underestimate what is possible from a team that went 11-5 this season and almost won the NFC West.

Davis knows that he and his team have to do a much better job in order to win in the playoffs. Getting there was one thing, but staying alive in the postseason will be something much harder.

“At the end of the day we have to do a better job overall of executing,’’ Davis said. “The coaches have to, the offense has to, the defense has to. We went to Arizona last year and those guys came away with a victory. We felt we were the better team then and they still beat us (22-6).’’

The desire to win is there and the Panthers aren’t ready to go home for the season. Davis is 31-years-old and he wants to take advantage of the Panthers being in the playoffs now. He doesn’t want to wait.

“You want to take advantage of the opportunity you have right now,’’ Davis said. “Like we said before last year, 2008 was the last time we made the playoffs. If we have another drought like that I may never get to go to the playoffs again.’’

For more Carolina Panthers news and updates, visit Carolina Panthers Central.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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